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NWMR: Tablets pro and con

Amazon has a Kindle Fire HD with a year kids' subscription for $149. We have kicked around the idea of getting the kids tablets. I am just heavily on the fence. Here's sort of a stream-of-consciousness thought process, help me determine what to do....Three tablets?  One tablet to share?  Or just let oldest DD borrow my kindle?  Or buy them one and let them also borrow mine?  Or buy one for each girl and share mine with DS? (I never use mine, as a side note.  I found that I much prefer physical books and we go to the library 2-4 times a month - I finish work early so we can go - today is such a day).  I was an only child, so there's some serious appeal into the girls each having their own with THEIR apps and books and STUFF. 

The kids are 5th grade, 1st grade and 3 in February.  The 5th grader would read and download books, and we can hook up with our library for even more books.  The 1st grader likely would as well, but it might be harder to corral her into books on the right level.  The three year old...not really seeing a benefit to e books.  The oldest most often reads when the other two are in bed and in the car.  All three kids would love tablets for the car.

We went to brunch with a bunch of college friends and my children were literally the only ones without devices.  We don't do devices at the table.  Well, we did that meal, to make DS (the 2 yo) stop screaming.  I don't want to see my kids increase their screen time.  But I do wonder if the tablet would replace the TV.  They can stream exactly what they want to watch while I make dinner, no commercials.  That is appealing, sort of.  I like that they are all in the playroom now, interacting and not just watching (but it does suck to be the 5th grader when the show chosen is a Junior show). 

I think I feel like tablets are a Pandora's box.  If I want to limit screen time, it seems absurd to encourage it by purchasing tablets.  At the same time, this is the world my kids live in.  It's almost like a "skill" for them to build.  What are the benefits to tablets? Are there good educational games? DD does Mission Math flashcards on the laptop, and both DDs could do them on devices. DS needs letter practice, and it's hard to do during the week alone and supervising two older kids with homework and activities. But letter games.... I might just need some direction on awesome apps and games for things I want - like letters and sounds, numbers and numeracy, high frequency first and second grade words, etc.

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Re: NWMR: Tablets pro and con

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    I limit tablet use just like TV. Just b/c they have one doesnt mean they can pick it  up & use it whenever they want. Mine can't b/c they don't know the access code :).  My kids are 5 and they don't ask for it constantly or anything, as I have always had rules about how long they can use it. I would say they use it three times a week on average and most of that is probably on the weekend when I do allow them to play while we wait for food at a restaurant or something.
    And yes there are decent educational games so another way you can limit it is b/c you get to choose what is on there.  There are tons of reviews out there on apps for kids and a lot of free ones that you can trial and if they stink, no biggie.
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    I am definitely overthinking it. The intersection of technology and siblings is ... not a place where I think clearly. I like the idea of trialing mine as the "family tablet" and getting the kids engaged. I think you are right @tas1883, there are so many images of tablets in the media that it's like we are collectively being brainwashed into thinking they are just a part of normal life.
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    Last year for Christmas I bought my oldest a Kindle and it's gone really well.  It was explained to him that although it was given to him, he was expected to share it with his siblings.  What I really like about the Kindle is that it's pretty easy to set up profiles for each child and then they are shown books, videos and apps based on their age, and you can set not just a total screen time limit for each, but can make them read and do educational games for a certain amount of time before it will allow them access to videos or non-education games.

    I get not wanting to necessarily increase screen time but I've also found a lot of benefit in having my kids get at least some time using the tablet.  And, I don't just mean that every so often I get some peace and quiet, I really do think some of the apps or my youngest son's obsession with Team Umizoomi videos does help catch on to things like numbers, letters, shapes, etc.

    Kelly, Mom to Christopher Shannon 9.27.06, Catherine Quinn 2.24.09, Trey Barton lost on 12.28.09, Therese Barton lost on 6.10.10, Joseph Sullivan 7.23.11, and our latest, Victoria Maren 11.15.12

    Secondary infertility success with IVF, then two losses, one at 14 weeks and one at 10 weeks, then success with IUI and then just pure, crazy luck.  Expecting our fifth in May as the result of a FET.

    This Cluttered Life

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